WEST POINT, Ala. – Wednesday was a big day for three-sport athlete Molly Pendley as family, friends, teammates and coaches gathered in the library at West Point High School to celebrate the advancement of her athletic career. Pendley signed to play softball at Snead State Community College after impressing scouts on the diamond throughout her high school career. With her senior season approaching, Molly is sitting on a career average of .400 at the plate with 179 hits, 54 doubles, five triples, 15 homeruns and 132 RBIs with a .491 on base percentage. Pendley collected nine homeruns in her junior campaign, including two grand slams in area matchups and a game-winning 2-run bomb in the Cullman County Tournament Championship Game.
Molly is excited for the chance to play at the next level but admits that she has a lot of people here at West Point that she will miss after graduation in May.
“I’m definitely going to miss my teammates,” Molly said. “They’re the best people ever and I love all of them and I’m definitely going to miss all my friends, teachers and coaches. They’re all amazing.”
Molly has spent her high school playing days with her father, Eric Pendley, coaching her and she knows it’ll be an adjustment for both of them once she’s playing for the Parsons, but she believes it will be a good adjustment.
“Well he’s always going to be my coach in my heart because he’ll always be there no matter what and supporting me and he’ll always be there for me,” She said. “It’s going to be difficult with him not being on the field with me now but it’s going to be a good adjustment for both of us.”
Moving on to play in college will give Molly a chance to meet new people and she’s excited for that opportunity but will also be playing with a former Lady Warriors teammate and friend.
“I’m excited to see what I’m going to be able to put out there and to meet new people and hopefully continue to go further in my career after two years,” Molly said. “It’ll be heartwarming for me to get to play with my friend Makayla (Brown) that played with me through high school so I’m excited about that too.”
Molly’s father and coach, Eric Pendley, has known for years that a day would come that he wasn’t coaching his daughter’s team and while its sure to be a big adjustment, he’s looking forward to relaxing a little more on the other side of the fence when she plays.
“She and I have both talked about it over the last few years and just over the last year and a half I feel like I’ve gotten better at being Dad. It was so hard for me to cut it off when I got home and over this past year and a half, our relationship has really grown,” Pendley said. “One day ball is going to be over and I have to have a relationship with my daughter outside of ball and since we’ve come to realize that, I’ve enjoyed it more and she’s enjoyed it more.”
Pendley has seen his daughter and standout player grow and mature throughout her high school career and is confident that she will continue to impress at the college level.
“Just seeing her mature over the last couple years has been great. This summer she hit the weight room three or four times on her own without Dad or coach telling her to go do it, so I have no fear with her moving off to go play for Coach Tracy (Grindrod),” Pendley said. “She knows that in life, hard work is going to get her where she’s going and she’s been through adversity, she’s tasted defeat and she hates it. She’s a competitor and I’m just really proud of the maturity she’s shown.”
Molly finished up her volleyball career in the fall and she still has a lot of basketball left to play in her senior season, but she will be back on the softball field for her final season with the Lady Warriors this spring.
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